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MIC Thurles June Summer School to Celebrate 20 years of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office

Dr Finn Ó Murchú and Niall Muldoon

Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School at MIC Thurles speaking with Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children. 

The Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Thurles Summer School will return from 11-13 June this year with a very special focus, Celebrating 20 years of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. The theme of this year’s event is how children’s voices have changed the landscape of education and participation over the past two decades.

Registration is now open for the three-day, on-campus event, which will concentrate on conversations regarding the journey travelled, and yet to be travelled, in supporting diverse voices in our educational system.

The event will open with keynote addresses by General Secretary to the Department of Education, Bernie McNally and Adam Harris, Founder and CEO of AsIAm, Ireland's National Autism CharityThere will also be a host of international speakers including Child Participation expert, Professor Laura Lundy, and Professor Philip Jaffé, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Over the course of the three days, the speakers, alongside young people, will explore the Student Voices Now and Then; Best Practice and Critical Thinking on Student Voice, and Voices from the Edge. 

Other guests across the event include Shari Irfan, President of the Irish Second-Level Students Union; Dr Craig Skerritt, University of Manchester; Suzanne Garcia Imbernon, European Network of Ombudsman for Children; Fiacre Ryan, author of Speechless Reflections From My Voiceless World; Ann Piercy, Midwest Migrant Community Network (MMCN); Koulla Yiasouma, Director of Oberstown Children Detention Campus; and Ahmed Hassan Mohamed, a social activist and Community Sponsorship support worker at Doras in Limerick. 

There will also be inputs from Dr Patrick Sullivan, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment; Pairic Clerkin, CEO of IPPN; Helen Walsh of the National Council for Special Education; Geraldine McTavish of the GAA; Brenda O’Donnell of Active Disability; Dr Hannah McGinley on Traveller voice, and Áine Lynch of the National Parents Council.

In announcing the Summer School, Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School at MIC Thurles spoke about the “wonderful opportunity the Summer School offers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman and the great work being undertaken by Dr Niall Muldoon and his team”.

Dr Ó Murchú added: ‘We at MIC Thurles are conscious of the key role teachers play in shaping young people’s lives and our ongoing collaboration with our colleagues in the OCO and the wider educational community allows us to collaborate, celebrate and contemplate our respective and collective actions.”

Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with MIC for the Summer School this year with the focus on the student voice. This is a fantastic way to mark the 20th anniversary of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and we are really looking forward to hearing from a brilliant range of speakers over the three days.”

The MIC Thurles Summer School is aimed at teachers, researchers, student teachers, parents, support service and policymakers, as well as anyone with an interest in exploring how teaching and learning can be improved. You can find further information on the MIC Thurles Summer School here or register your place here.